Mr. Jacob “Shad” Gibbs 1865-1956
By Julie Brett (Ditcher) Great Granddaughter
Jacob was born in 1865 in Rye, his father and four brothers were all from Rye and were all fishermen as he was to become at the age of 11. From 1888-1890 he served as mate under skipper W. Bourne on the trawler S.S.Pionerre and from
1893-1897 he was the third hand under Master J.M. Breeds on the S.S.Crusader.
He married around the age of 22 to Mary Jane Small, who was a Rye Harbour lass and was married for over 50 years until her death in 1937. Jacob and Mary Jane had 2 sons and 4 daughters, lived in Rye for a few years and then Rye Harbour.
Jacob sailed in numerous vessels and became a familiar figure to fishing communities from Newhaven to Folkestone. During the First World War when he lived for a time in Newhaven he served first in the Territorial Force and then asked to be transferred to minesweepers and served as a Petty Officer.
At the end of the war he and his wife settled back in Rye Harbour still continuing to fish until the death of his wife when he moved to Rye and lived with one of his daughters Mary Jane Ditcher (my Grandmother). Continue reading Old Fisherman of Rye